Today 27 June 2023, Joseph Borg and Michael Galea, President and Vice-President of INSULEUR, together with Jesmond Buttigieg, Manager, within the Gozo Business Chamber took part in a public debate about “Insularity and socio-economic development: The role of civil society in addressing the challenges that islands are facing”.

In his intervention Joseph Borg, presented the views of INSULEUR highlighting also the important role of civil society within the islands.

The main challenges faced by the islands today are the extra costs related to transport and, the excessive dependency on specific economic sectors.  Joseph Borg highlighted how insularity is a determining factor of the islands’ socio-economic development.   Diverse challenges exist for the islands such as an ageing population, brain drain and a higher cost for services rendered.

Joseph Borg also explained the role of civil society.  These include raising awareness about the specific challenges being faced by the islands and lobbying for policy changes.  Case in point is the argument raised by INSULEUR regarding the revocation of the tax exemption on aviation and maritime fuel.  A move which would increase travel costs, effecting negatively freedom of movement and  tourism.  Civil society should also act as catalyst for positive change such as the preservation of the islands’ ecosystems, waste management and the transition to renewable energy solutions.

Joseph Borg highlighted how the European Union should address the issues faced by the islands, by creating a flexible framework to mitigate their challenges.

You can read the intervention of the President, Joseph Borg, here.

Click here to view the agenda.